A few weeks ago when I put two year-old Esther’s dinner in front of her, she refused to eat her chicken—complete with a little container of barbeque sauce on the side for dipping. But why? She usually loves dipping her chicken in barbeque sauce. Why not tonight?
Okay, I have to be honest by saying her initial refusal to eat the chicken that night could easily have been because Esther is Esther. She is independent, has a reason for everything she does, and makes her move in her own time and on her own terms. But that doesn’t fit with the point I want to make and on this particular occasion, Esther’s independent way of thinking wasn’t the reason for her protests.
The reason for her protests was simple: She didn’t have a fork.
When I told her for the third or fourth time that she needed to eat her chicken, she finally said, “Fork please, Nanna.” And when I gave her the fork, she happily speared each piece, one at a time, dipped it into the sauce, and ate it.
Here’s my question to you: How many times have you told or expected your kids to do something without making sure they have what they need to fulfill your expectations?
Have you told your preschooler to clean their room but not taught them what your expectations of ‘clean’ are or showed them how to do it?
Do you expect your school-age children to make good grades (and possibly discipline them for not doing so) without helping them establish good study habits and/or giving them the time at home to do so (instead of filling their every waking hour with extra-curricular activities)?
Do you tell your children to act one way but demonstrate otherwise?
Do you preach/teach one set of morals and values but allow the opposite into your home via television, music, movies, and dress code?
I didn’t intentionally deny Esther the equipment she needed to get the job done, and I’m sure you don’t either. But if you don’t take the time to make sure they are properly equipped, you’ll be scratching your head and asking yourself ‘why’, while your kids are wishing you had just taken the time to give them a fork.
Copyright 2017 Darla Noble. No part of this can be used or copied without permission from the author.